Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, has written a letter to Nicky Morgan, a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom (UK) and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, urging her personal intervention to try and include shooting in the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG), scheduled to be held in Birmingham.
Notably, the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had decided in the month of June, to exclude the shooting discipline from the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Following this decision, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had even threatened to boycott the event.
“Unfortunately, at present, India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games executive council and in the functional committees of the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, it could not put forward its case for the inclusion of shooting in 2022 Birmingham CWG,” Rijiju said in the letter addressed to Morgan and dated 3 September 2019.
“As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 countries with a population of 2.4 billion. India alone has more than half of this. India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and would continue to be so.
“The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting events involving Indian shooters. In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG. I request your personal intervention in ensuring the continued inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG,” he added.
The exclusion of shooting has emerged as a massive blow to the Indian sporting circuit since India had performed relatively well in this discipline. Indian shooters, in fact, went on to bag 16 medals in total in the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games which included as many as seven golds.
This will be the first time since 1974 that the discipline of shooting will not be part of the Commonwealth Games and second time since shooting was introduced in the event in 1966.